The Eco Well is a public education venture and consultancy, founded by Jen Novakovich in 2016. Beyond the podcast, which regularly features experts in sustainability, beauty science, green chemistry, and more; The Eco Well hosts live Green Beauty Night events that bring experts, brands, and the consumer public together to explore the realities of environmentally sustainable beauty.
Talking about indie beauty
The run of M&A activity (with legacy companies buying beauty startup) in recent years has been described as a bubble, the sort of economic situation that is based on an unrealistic expectation about the future. Nonetheless, beauty is well established as a recession-proof business; the current indie movement continues to grow globally; and cosmetics and personal care industry tradeshows now regularly welcome and feature beauty entrepreneurs as well as suppliers catering to startup brands.
Perhaps because of the momentum of the current indie movement in addition to the fact a sustainability story is integral for many of today’s beauty startups, Novakovich chose to feature a conversation all about indie beauty for the first episode of The Eco Well podcast season 3.
In their 45-minute discussion, Novakovich and Cosmetics Design editor Deanna Utroske run through a list of top tips for indie brand founders.
Top tips for cosmetics and personal care entrepreneurs
In a social media post promoting the podcast, Novakovich titles the episode “Making it as an Indie Beauty Brand, Top 5 Tips” and introduces it like this: “kicking off season 3 with Deanna Utroske, editor at Cosmetics Design and global industry influencer. If you're thinking about launching a brand, or have one and are looking for some solid advice to build your business, this podcast is for you!”
“Not every indie brand is successful,” affirms Utroske in the opening moments of the episode and “if there were a winning formula, everyone would follow it.” But as the discussion of networks, communication, brand differentiation, and more progresses, the two share insights and ideas that can get brands going (and help them continue) in the right direction.
Professional networks and personal relationships matter
Much of the advice covered during the most recent episode of The Eco Well podcast circles back to the importance of people and partnerships.
This “can be a family and friends network, it can be…an accelerator or an incubator, it can come form industry events or indie beauty focused events,” says Utroske. Whatever the network looks like, it’s important that entrepreneurs and brand leaders connect and communicate with a support system, with a collection of suppliers, mentors, and other allies.
“Build a community you can trust,” she says. And organizations like CEW and ICMAD as well as events like IBE or Beauty & Money provide great opportunities for beauty brand founders to meet, connect, and share ideas. (Several other events and venues for building a beauty business network are mentioned during the podcast, as are up-to-date examples of brands that have found whitespace in the market, and the importance of regular check-ins with your business plan and yourself comes up as well.)
To hear more about what makes for a successful indie brand, listen to ‘Making it as an Indie Beauty Brand’ featuring Deanna Utroske on The Eco Well podcast here.
And find information about the next Green Beauty Night event, on October 4th in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, here.
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.